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United States and Central America-Dominican Republic Hold Environmental Affairs Council Meeting

05/10/2013 - 9:35am

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – Yesterday, officials from the United States, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua held the Environmental Affairs Council (EAC) meeting under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). Representatives from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the State Department participated in this meeting on behalf of the United States.

During the meeting, the CAFTA-DR Parties reaffirmed their strong commitment to work together to enhance the mutually supportive nature of trade and environmental protection through implementation of the CAFTA-DR Environment Chapter and the Environmental Cooperation Agreement. The Council Members reviewed progress on implementation of the Environment Chapter and shared important achievements, including those involving environmental cooperation and capacity building.

The Council Members also had the opportunity to meet with numerous stakeholders and engage in a robust question and answer session. During the public session, the CAFTA-DR Secretariat for Environmental Matters described the environment submission process through which members of the public can allege that a party is failing to effectively enforce its environmental laws. 

The Joint Communiqué can be found here

Background 

Since 2004, the United States has dedicated over $85 million to support environmental cooperation in the CAFTA-DR Region. Through this cooperation, the CAFTA-DR governments are working to strengthen implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, protect biodiversity, increase market-based conservation, and improve private sector environmental performance. Results of this work include: improving or adopting over 170 laws and regulations addressing issues like waste water, air pollution and solid waste, bringing more than 1.3 million hectares of land under improved natural resource management, and training over 56,000 people in enforcement and implementation of environmental laws, public participation, cleaner production, natural resource management, and biodiversity conservation.